What if I told you that the greatest high school basketball team perhaps ever assembled included four future NBA players, including Charlotte Hornet legend Muggsy Bogues?
Well, it’s true, and Tuesday night at 8 p.m., ESPN Films chronicles that team in a special called “Baltimore Boys.” It introduces viewers to the high school exploits of Bogues’ prep team, the Dunbar (MD) Poets, who went 59-0 over two seasons.
Last year, sportswriter Alejandro Danois wrote a book about the team called “The Boys of Dunbar: A Story Of Love, Hope and Basketball.” Danois contributed to the 30-for-30 documentary.
The book focuses heavily on Bogues -- who lives in south Charlotte and will host his annual basketball camp at Crews Road Recreation Center next week -- and Dunbar coach Bob Wade, who would later coach at Maryland.
"My whole fascination was how great these guys were as basketball players," Danois told the Baltimore Sun last year. “But the more time I spent going through the archives, the more I realized this wasn't just a basketball story."
The team’s dominance occurred during the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons. The community surrounding the school was dealing with heavy job losses and heavy drug use and the basketball team brought fans an escape, Danois said, a true joy.
The ‘82 team featured Gary Graham, who played at UNLV and was taken in the 1987 NBA draft in the sixth round. Future Charlotte Hornet David Wingate, who played at Georgetown was also on that team.
In ‘83, Dunbar featured Bogues, a 5-foot-3 whirling dervish of a point guard who would star at Wake Forest and become a first round NBA draft pick in 1987. Joining Bogues on the ‘83 team was national high school player of the year Reggie Williams, who would star at Georgetown and was drafted in the first round of the ‘87 draft, and another guy who went in the first round in 1987: Reggie Lewis.
Lewis, who became a Boston Celtics star and died suddenly at 27, came off the bench for the ‘83 high school team.